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‘Blair Witch’: How Filmmakers Were Able to Keep the Sequel Under Wraps for Three Years

The horror film was secretly shot in Vancouver last year and hid under the name “The Woods” by Lionsgate.

The Woods

Friday night at Comic-Con, horror fans were surprised to find out that Adam Wingard’s new project is an official sequel to “The Blair Witch Project.” Previously titled “The Woods” to throw people off, “Blair Witch” stars James Allen McCune as the brother of Heather Donahue, the original heroine of the first film, who sets out to find out what happened to his missing sibling. The movie was shown for the first time at the convention.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the film’s helmer talked about how they kept this project a secret for so long. “‘The Woods’ was our working title,” said Wingard. “When we signed on to it, we knew that [the name] was eventually going to be changed. To us, it wasn’t even going to be part of the marketing. But I think Lionsgate made a really smart decision, using that.”

READ MORE: ‘The Woods’: Fans Freak Out As Horror Film Revealed To Be A Surprise Sequel To ‘Blair Witch’

Written by Simon Barrett, “Blair Witch” was secretly shot in Vancouver last year and hid under the name “The Woods” by the studio. Lionsgate even released a trailer for it in May that featured actual footage from the film.

“It really has been fascinating, all the CIA-level security that we have put around this project, from the very beginning,” said Jason Constantine, President, Acquisitions and Co-Productions, Lionsgate Motion Picture Group, who was a big part of developing the film. “I’ve been at Lionsgate for 16 years, and I’ve had the privilege of working on a lot of movies that I love, and are a lot of fun: horror movies, and action movies, and Oscar movies. But never have we ever set out to make a reboot movie, and keep it in total secrecy, with a brand that’s as well known to the public as this one. It’s incredible to think about how many people needed to know about it to bring this movie to life — and yet we ended up not having any leaks in that regard.”

And fans were definitely surprised, expressing their excitement on social media after the shocking reveal.

READ MORE: Review: ‘The Woods’ Delivers The ‘Blair Witch’ Sequel We Wanted 15 Years Ago

“Blair Witch” will be released in theaters on September 16. Watch the official trailer below:

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